Between Tampa’s Ybor City and Miami’s Little Havana neighborhoods, Florida’s history of cigarmaking runs deep. The cigar industry is not only ingrained in many Floridians culturally, but also economically.
Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R-32) introduced a memorial bill yesterday in the Florida House that commemorates these facts and also encourages his fellow lawmakers to support two federal bills that would protect premium cigars from regulation: H.R. 1854 and S. 9. (Largely symbolic, memorial bills are the method by which the legislative bodies petition Congress and other governments or governmental agencies.)
S. 9 was introduced last year by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), while H.R. 1854 was submitted by Florida Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL-14). Both bills seek to protect premium cigars, with Castor’s bill going one step further by specifying that cigars with “flavor additives” would not be protected like premium cigars.
“Cigar Rights of America would like to commend the initiative of Florida State Representative Anthony Sabatini for introducing H.M. 1093, calling upon Congress to advance S. 9 and H.R. 1854, which demand the U.S. Food & Drug Administration exempt premium cigars from their onerous regulations,” said Glynn Loope, executive director of the Cigar Rights of America. “This is an opportunity for the Florida legislature to send a profound message to the Trump administration that premium cigars are important to the Florida economy. … This is also a message to the remainder of the Florida congressional delegation that hasn’t signed onto H.R. 1854, given that Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott are working together on S. 9. It’s time for the Trump administration to act, and this resolution sends that message.”